Research In Midwifery Essay

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Antenatal peer support workers and initiation of breast feeding: cluster randomised controlled trial
British journal of Midwifery 2009;338;b131
Using Research to Develop Enquiry

The aim of this essay is to critically evaluate a research article.   Research is an essential element of midwifery enabling practitioners to provide evidence-based care.   The NMC’s Midwives Rules and Standards (2004) states that a midwife ‘should enable the woman to make decisions about her care based on her individual needs, by discussing matters fully with her’ (NMC, 2004, p17).   Midwives need to be aware of the best available evidence and incorporate this in their practice, sharing information with women to enable them to make informed decisions.   Research can be defined as ‘an attempt to increase available knowledge by the discovery of new facts or relationships through a process of systematic scientific enquiry’ (Macleod Clark and Hockey, 1996, p4 cited Cluett and Bluff, 2000, p. 5).   Key questions for critically evaluating research (Clarke, 1991) will be used as the framework for this critique.   It is important to use a critiquing tool such as Clarke, to focus on the study, enabling you to review the article considering both strengths and weaknesses thoroughly and evaluate it more persuasively by presenting a balanced view.
The article to be critically critiqued has been published in the British Midwifery Journal; to be published in this journal, the article has been double-blind peer-reviewed.   This means that it has undergone rigorous critical review and assessment by other scholars in the author’s field.   The point of double-blind peer review is that the author and reviewers identities are not revealed.   In general peer-review articles are considered to have an objective or neutral viewpoint, written by experts in the field and are often based on empirical studies.

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